The United States Senate narrowly voted in favor of the American Rescue Package over the weekend. The $1.9 trillion stimulus package is being presented as a savior for the citizens still suffering from the COVID-induced economic crisis, but the actual impact of the package is likely to be a net negative.
Before we get started, here is a quick overview of where the $1.9 trillion is reportedly going:
Stimulus checks: Individuals making less than $75,000 and married couples making less than $150,000 will receive direct payments of $1,400 per person. The bill will also provide $1,400 per dependent.
Unemployment benefit boost: The bill extends unemployment programs through early September, including the $300-per-week federal supplement provided in the last stimulus plan passed in December.
Child tax credit: For 2021, the bill would temporarily expand the child tax credit, which is currently worth up to $2,000 per child younger than 17. Under the legislation, the tax credit would be as much as $3,600 for children up to age 5 and as much as $3,000 for children 6 to 17.
Local government: It would provide $350 billion for states, local governments, territories and tribal governments, and it contains $130 billion for schools. It also includes funding for colleges and universities, transit agencies, housing aid, child care providers and food assistance.
Small business: The bill contains funding to help businesses, including restaurants and live venues, and it includes a bailout for multi-employer pension plans that are financially troubled.
Vaccine: The legislation includes $160 billion for vaccine and testing programs to help stop the virus's spread and ultimately end the pandemic. The plan includes money to create a national vaccine distribution program that would offer free shots to all U.S. residents regardless of immigration status.